A Late Bloomer: S/Y Thalia's Before & After

1 August 2019 By Laura Dunn

After an extensive 20-month refit at Orams Marine Service Auckland that began in March 2017, S/Y Thalia is in the best shape she’s ever been in, according to the owners.

When they saw her on New Year’s Eve again for the first time, the owners called her “truly like a new boat.” In fact, “she sails better,” they say, adding that “her performance, particularly upwind, is noticeably better as a result and in any amount of seaway she pitches and rolls less.”

The owners bought Thalia in September 2014, fully aware that she’d need an extensive refit. “But I wanted to use and get to know the boat before embarking on an extended yard period,” they said. “We sailed her from Palma in December of that year to cross the Atlantic, via Tenerife and the Cape Verde Islands, to Antigua, where new North 3Di sails were fitted and spinnakers delivered.”

Everything in the recent refit was about bringing her systems up to date, lightening her aloft, and bringing the vessel back to “as-new” condition. There were several complex challenges for the 48.5-meter Vitters ketch, which took more than 160,000 hours in labor — including substantial removal, upgrades, and reinstatement of the superstructure, operating systems, equipment, and components. “My brief to Capt. Rob Lehmann was simple: ‘Do it once and do it right.’”

“The major challenge was the sheer work volume and complexity of the project,” says Craig Park, managing director, Orams Marine Services. “The workforce often exceeded fifty skilled personal on the vessel.” He credits the captains and contractors with keeping close track of the workflow and handling each logistical challenge with efficiency. Ron Holland was the naval architect and exterior stylist for the refit, with Kevin Augustin the interior designer.

Thalia was also nominated in Boat International Media’s World Superyacht Awards in the Rebuilt/Refit/Conversion yacht category.

Below: To transform areas like the guest cockpit, the workers often exceeded 50 personnel; sometimes even 100 workers at a time.

Photos: Courtesy of Clive Bennett and Boat Crew